Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part Ten (Essential Essentials)

Forox gurgled in corrupt scrap-code, hunched up in the confines of the Fellblade. His mind since his forced service has been changed, corrupted beyond what is was before. What was once a somewhat noble mechanicum priest was now a cackling mess, long since lost to the temptations of chaos.

+44-ss/ Yes, yes! I see. Dy' yanith wishes to be soothed, yes yes! 44-0008......008 sooth Dy' yanith I shall+

Forox glided a silver hand across the central console, which steamed as Forox ran his hand over. He placed his hands around the gear levers, but was forced to move them after they began to melt. He hissed in pain; his corruption has since meant he could truly feel and experience pain in his mechanical limbs. His metal hand glowed and dimmed as it cooled down, slightly misshapen after the damage. He clutched his now injured hand.

+No no! I am not worthy yet am I master? No no stupid Forrox! Error 3030-zzh4d. I am sorry master, I only with to serve such a god-like machine. Master?+

Forrox returned to his duties with sadness as his connection to the daemon engine severed, trailing off with blurts of machine code. 

The Fellblade is coming along very well. So well in fact that I could have the build potion of this project done within a week or so.

My attention has mainly been focused on creating the Lascannon batteries. They are pretty much entirely made from plasticard tubes and sheets. The unit was topped off with a sensor unit from a Land Raider's lascannons. A second unit is in the works, and only needs to be connected together and detailed. Mm plan is to paint them before attaching them to the tank.

Some of you may recognise the commander of this super-heavy. It was formerly the sorcerer on top of my Disc of Tzeentch, legs cut off above the knee so it would fit into the cupola. On the subject of discs, I make give it to my power-fist sorcerer. The head is a spare Ahriman head I had lying around, with the bottom set of horns removed so I could fit it  into the head-slot and last the gorget. A piece of wire was added in place of the back-pack, in a similar style to normal Space Marine tank crew.

Alongside the main upgrades, I've been adding little details here and there. I've added spikes along the trim edges, and a brass-etch chaos star to the side of the turret. A small viewing port has been added underneath the heavy bolters.

Next time I update, I should (should) be just about to start painting this tank.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Discussion: 40k Isn't 'Real' Enough, And How To Fix It

Even though our favourite science-fiction universe caters to our desires, a number of us are baffled by a few factors which make our favourite models unrealistic, even in the realms of fiction. Our love to real-world physics and logic is causing a number of us to amend the many problems, and here's a few ways for you to do the same.

Where's my ammo?

One of the main issues people have is that a lot of 40k models do not carry extra ammo. Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines Imperial Guard are the main culprits people think of. Many are left wondering why their troops only have the one clip, magazine or belt.

This issue probably has the simplest solution, just adding extra clips and ammo pouches to the belt area will resolve the problem. This can be done by cutting off ammo from unused rifles and guns, or even by making a greenstuff square pouch and suggest ammo is in it. Another potential idea is to have one squad member carrying a "crate" of sorts, containing the units allotted ammo. This is also handy for heavy weapons squads. With one model carrying the gun, why not have another basic guy being the ammo bearer?

My gun is too big/my tank is too small.

Some people, surprisingly, are quite annoyed by the comically large guns seen on some tanks in the 40k universe. The kind of tank I talk about usually have a gun bore so wide you can fit a beach ball down it (Think Leman Russ), and if it were to work, the tank could only carry perhaps four shots of over-sized ammo.

One thing I've seen a few people do is use smaller guns. The guns are often taken from military scale models (which are also great sources for other parts, as I will discuss soon), which are all based on real and very functional cannons and fire-arms.

Whilst some people are OK with the gun, they may not be happy with the size of the tank. It may looks to small to fit all the essential parts of a tank inside, such as mechanics, engines or passengers. The rhino is a good example, often referred to as a clown car because it is, to many, far too small to fit ten fully armed and armoured marines inside. Some choose to extent the hull sizes, either through conversion kits (e.g. FW Mars Pattern Hull), or the more extreme scratch-build, and scale the whole tank up a tiny amount.

How would this thing move?

This is mainly directed at the Leman Russ, Chimera and Land Raider families of tank design. People feel that the all-wheel covering armour and low ground clearance means that, if such a tank would exist, it would struggle with ground any tougher than light gravel.

This issue requires more work than the others, as it involves playing around with the tank's height and profile. "Lifting" the tank and raising the suspension to a visible level us often a favourite, as it cutting away parts of the armour to allow the wheels to be seen. Nowadays, very few GW tanks come with wheels if you can't see them, so the military kits I mentioned earlier are a great source for wheels, suspension, and tracks.

My tank isn't combat ready!

This is another, easy to fix problem. Your tank may lack the correct lighting, fuel system, power for said systems or an exhaust set-up that is needed to function, as well as handy extra gear like tarpaulins and fuel barrels. Again, military scale kits are great sources for bits like this, and should be plundered for everything usable. thin wire and cables can be used to connect up systems such as spot-lights.

So with that guideline, you now have the know-how to bring a little realism to our science-fiction universe.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Showcase: Bolt Action German Army (650 pts)

A world first, I have fully completed an army! Well, for now, but for the time being my Bolt Action force is fully painted and based.

A factor in the speed of painting it is probably the nice simple paint scheme. It has been a very pleasant change and experience from painting tons of blue.

For those interested, my 650 points list for this first force is as follows:

Second Lieutenant (veteran)
2x veterans
heer infantry squad
5x extra riflemen
heer infantry squad
5x extra riflemen
Sniper team (veteran)
flammpanzer B2 (f) (Regular)

I hope to have my first game soon. At the moment I have no real tactical plans, as I have no idea how the army will work. 
I have a feeling though that with an abundance of LMGs, and a flame tank, this army will be fairly anti-infantry. The B2's medium anti-tank gun gives me some anti-armour ability, but I feel that I could certainly do with more than one gun.  I am considering buying a Pak 40, a mortar team or a fallschirmj√§ger/pioneer squad and give them grenades. Until then, enjoy the pictures, and keep an eye out for further updates.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part nine (Boom Boom Baby!)

The horribly mutated overseers had rounder up over a hundred slaves in the middle of the otherwise lifeless desert. The former governor Drogin did not now why. He had no idea what day it even was; his time as a slave under the Thousand Sons felt like an eternity.

Something rolled out from behind a large sand dune. It was truly immense, towering even over the Chaos Space Marines walking beside the enormous battle tank. Drogin blinked the sand from his weary eyes; the tank looked like some massive malformed Baneblade. A relic of a forgotten age, or a twisted daemon engine. Either way, the mere sight of it made him gag and swallow back stomach acid.

The massive tank lowered it's twin barrelled gun at the gathered slaves. None tried to run, even as the overseers stepped back at least fifty metres. All were paralysed by the sight of the machine. People wept and huddled together. Drogin wiped a tear, only to see that it was staining his tattered regal cloak red. Everyone was crying blood, in utter silence. Drogin was sure he heard perverse laughter before the twin shells of the tank flashed from the wide-bore barrels, disintegrating all one-hundred of the captive imperials in an instant.

Significant progress has been made this last week, and the tank is now a proud owner of a custom-made Accelerator Cannon.

The main gun has been a major hassle, both in getting it even and getting it level. The barrels are joined together by a pair of braces, make from short plastic tube cuttings and plasticard sheeting. The muzzle-brakes are styled based on the original, and were done by lightly going over the tube with a saw. Once the basic shape was complete, the barrels, braces and mount were covered in plenty of rivets, cut from plastic rods.

As well as the main gun, I've added a few sensors and lenses, made from plastic rods, strips and greenstuff. The lenses above the cannon are a random piece from the Dreadknight kit.

Another important thing I've achieved is covering up the large gaps at the front of the track units. These were boxed off, and the gaps were smoothed out with liquid greenstuff.

The last thing I've done recently was to finish riveting one side, and working the other. only the back left corner and the front plates need rivets, then it's just the trim and details. Once that is done, I'll get on with the next major item, the lascannon batteries.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Showcase: Bolt Action German Infantry Squad

My German starter force is coming together nicely now that most units have paint, and all but one are based. Today, I'm showing off one of my two infantry squads.

The ten man squads are pretty much identical in war gear, the only difference being that the NCO of this unit has an SMG.

Paint-wise, they are the same as my commanders. The beauty of a historical force is that you don't need as many (read, bright) colours than say, Thousand Sons. Whilst the sons are a joy to paint, these guys offer a nice simplicity which still suits the models.

The basing is also the same. Starting off as a sand coating, the bases are painted with German Camo Brown Medium, followed by Screaming Skull (GW) and a wash of Agrax Earthshade. One the rim is tidied up with more medium brown, the bases are coated with patches of static grass.

Once I've finished the final squad, I plan to do a full army showcase, and get stuck into some matches.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

WIP: Decimator Daemon Engine of Tzeentch (Part Two)

I have more progress to report on the daemon engine this week.

The main body has had a little bit of work done to it. I decided to remove a bit of the daemon-flesh, as I'm feeling that I'd prefer a more mechanical appearance. That, and I'll probably make a better attempt at it.

I've added a ton of chain to the engine area. This is based on the official model, and is done to give the impression of a bound daemon inside this thing.

The claws have been proving a pain. I hoped that the claws would be able to fit all the way around with ease, but the odd shape of the gauntlets has meant that I need to sculpt more of the hand. I'm using the fists from the kit as a skeleton to continue making the curved shape around the part. I'll finish off by flattening the centre and adding some sort of flamer nozzle.

The main work I've been doing is on a new pair of weapon options: Storm Lasers. These will be followed by the other options (Butcher Cannons, a Soul Burner and a Heavy Conversion Beamer). They are based on the Forge World Design, and have been made using brass and aluminium pipe, plasticard tubes, and cut down gun-mounts from the Dreadknight kit.They still need a bit of work on the undersides, but for the most part they are complete and ready to melt some Space Marines.

My next task is to finish working on the chest plate, then move onto sculpting a Thousand Sons/Iron Armour styled head. Once that is done, I can start working on the enormous shoulders. Once they're done, this thing will start to look more like the Decimator we all know.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

WIP: Decimator Daemon Engine of Tzeentch

I'm back guys, from a nice (if too short) holiday. I did spend a fair penny, and I have a number of new projects that I'm sure I'll let you know about in the coming weeks. This week I have a work placement, so postings maybe a bit more patchy compared to the norm. However, I do have something for you today.

This is the start I've made on a Decimator Daemon engine, one of Forgeworld's many interesting vehicles. This one however is not the FW model; it is based on the plastic Games Workshop Dreadknight. It's a cheaper alternative, and a fun little challenge to try and make it look convincing. It has the right size, but that is only part of it.

Before starting, I knew that I had no intentions of using the 'baby-carrier'. Instead, I plan to sculpt a helmet and chest to go in the empty cavity. to fit in with the official model, I will be adding the enormous shoulder pads.

The main thing you'll notice is the new base. I felt obliged to use the same sized base as an official Decimator (60mm). Fortunately the Dreadknight fits. All I needed to do was bring the legs a bit closer together.

The arms on this model have been magnetised at the elbow. This is to allow me to use all the weapon options, when I get around to building them.

At the moment I am working on the Siege Claws. They will be styled like the official models', and are based on the Dreadknight's doomfists.

I've also started a small amount of sculpting work to the model. I plan to add patched areas of musculature, growing over the existing machinery of the dreadknight.

As well as the flesh, I've 'chaosified' one of the kneecaps, by sculpting a snarling daemon's mouth in the centre. I am very happy with how it turned out, and I'll either repeat it on the other side, or try a full face.

The next task for me is to add the lower leg armour, once the sculpting work on done on those panels.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Fellblade Project: Part Eight (Details Matter)

Omhoden raised an eyebrow underneath his helmet at the rusting monster squeaking out into the sunlight. The damage hadn't been apparent in the dark confines of the space-hulk, but in the light of Xia-three-six-six's three suns, it truly was in a state. Whilst the hell-fire reactor that his more tech-savvy brother has been working on was a piece of shimmering beauty, it juxtaposed strongly with the oxidised metal and flaking yellow paint. Chunks of rust and paint fell off during it's brief motion. It's turret had been striped of it's main cannons, far to worn to be used with any predictability or safety. Imperial insignias has been ground away, and were gleaming silver patches amongst the horribly worn exterior. The symbol of the Imperial Fists was caked in blood; part defilement, partly some poor slave's unlucky day.

"It looks a sorry sight", Omhoden finally said, his voice distorted by his golden helm.

"Ostentation is secondary to function brother", Ozhmund replied. "It functions very well mechanically. Once the armaments are applied, then we can think about slapping some paint on it"

Omhoden shrugged sarcastically , "I was only saying. I'll leave you to your work then". The sorcerer left, tapping the battle-tank with his deactivated power-fist. A small sheet of metal fell off the side of the tank, and Ozhmund sighed. 

Some small progress to share today guys! I've been working on solving some of the minor detailing problems and I've built the damn gun mantlet, something that was essential if I wanted to stick some guns on this monster.

One issue I had was a small gap between the fuel barrels' panel and the hull. I was planning to cover it up, but I would still have the problem of gaps and cut lines. So instead, I've made it into an additonal access area for fuel. I added some plasticard circles to represent plug-in ports, and did the same on the fuel barrels, making sure that they were set evenly. Snake cabling was added to join them up.

The next major thing was trim around the turret. having bought more strips, I've finished off the edging, and have edged around the mantlet.

the mantlet itself was a pain to build, since the opening hadn't been sculpted perfectly straight. Fortunately only the outer shape mattered, and this was done by glueing thin plasticard to some thicker curved pieces, to give it a gently curved shape. The small box on top of the mantlet will house the sensor arrays.

Next time I share updates, I should hopefully have started working on the main cannon, the Accelerator Cannon.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

WIP: German Heer Infantry Squad and Sniper Team

Although this army is small at the moment, it's really coming together now the majority of it has some paint on it now.

Today I'm sharing some progress on my infantry and sniper teams. I really like the simplicity of painting these models. I don't need to do extensive techniques such as freehand or OSL, but the details are plentiful and keep me busy picking them out. I also have a much smaller palette, which means I am painting these a lot faster.

The sniper team was also made from the plastic Blitzkrieg box; truly a box of many abilities. All I did was use the scoped Kar 98 rifles (or the scope from one on a normal rifle), and added some extra packs, binoculars and so on. I don't think they'll need to be painted any differently to the normal troops, but we'll see.

After all my infantry is complete, I will probably invest in some more infantry (either veterans or pioneers) and an anti-tank gun or armoured car. I'm very tempted to get the pioneers,  they use than same great plastic kit (blitzkrieg) with some fun new additions such as flame-throwers and Goliath remote bombs.

 I've also researched my tank's colour scheme, and it is used up until 1943. This means that if I want to remain historical, I can use anything up until the mid-war period, which suits me well. Although I like the free-reign of the generic list, I feel obliged to follow history.